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Bright Prospects For Goat Raising, Peanut Farming

News From : DagangHalal.com (27 Dec 2009)

ILAGAN, Isabela-Goat raisers have bright prospects to look forward to: there is an “assurance of market” for goats in the local markets and halal meat markets abroad.

There is also high demand for peanut.

Jonathan Nayga, program leader for Cagayan Valley Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium’s (CVARRD) goat program, disclosed they are falling behind in goat production amid the steady demand.

Nayga said in his report in the recent CVARRD 31st anniversary celebration that goat-production volume declined by 3.13 percent in the period of January to September 2009. Its value of production grossed 13.29 percent higher owing to high prices.

CVARRD executives highlighted in the consortium’s anniversary celebration its success in research and development on two of its 18 focus commodities in Cagayan Valley.

Consortium director Edmundo Gumpal said CVARRD’s most notable accomplishments were the successful application of technology in peanuts and small ruminants (e.g., goats and sheep). He said this was made possible through interventions of science and technology-based farms.

Nayga cited several constraints hampering increase in goat production. These include lack of high quality-breeder stocks; high mortality of kids at the preweaning stage; endoparasitism; absence of defined breeding program; and socioeconomic problems that include land ownership, lack of institutional credit facilities and undefined marketing system.

Interventions in goat farming started in backyards, where 99.07 percent of the country’s goat inventory is found. Interventions began simply in training goat raisers to provide sufficient housing for goats.

Nayga said backyard breeders who lack training do not even provide weather-resistant housing for their livestock, resulting in the goats’ sickness.

He said artificial insemination (AI) has been proven successful in the absence of bucks. He said AI is more economical than buying bucks for breeding goats. A single buck can cost a farmer P25,000.

He said that AI, along with the use of semen extenders developed by CVARRD, could result in genetically superior and healthier breeds.

Development of herbal medicines as “dewormers” for endoparasites was already planned according to Nayga. These medicines would be derived from local plants and herbs with antihelminthic properties.

Another commodity where demand outpaces production in the region is peanut. Rose Mary Aquino, Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center  senior agriculturist, said in her report that between 1993 and 1995, peanut- production area in Cagayan Valley is more or less 22,000 hectares. Peanut was eventually replaced by corn.

Aquino said the center’s goal now is supporting and sustaining production of 5,000 hectares to 10,000 hectares of peanuts in the region (25 percent to 50 percent of the total area in ’80s).

Economically, her comparative cost and return analysis of corn and peanut production showed gross income made for 2,000 kg of peanuts at P25/kg is higher (P50,000) than the gross income from 5,000 kg of corn at P9/kg (P49,500). Net income is even more attractive at P25,250 compared with P17,134 that can be made in corn.

In her report, Aquino said peanut is till the best rotating high-value crop for corn owing to its nitrogen-fixing properties; it responds well to residual fertilizers; and it improves soil fertility.

Peanut’s benefit to human nutrition include its high-energy value, high-protein content, low salt and more dietary fiber.

Aquino also said peanut hay/haulms are a nutritious livestock feedstuff.

Interventions in peanut farming include crop improvement through the use of better seed varieties. For instance, the use of a variety called Asha, which yields bigger seeds, resulted in a 2,825-kilogram-per hectare yield, bypassing the national average of 1,000 kg/ha. (Asha was developed by India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.)

Aquino, however, admitted that the bigger peanut variety caused minor problems in shelling as current machinery could only shell the smaller variety.

She said part of their interventions in productivity enhancement includes mechanization of harvesting and postharvest operation and mechanized planting.

Gumpal said they have seen the positive effects of S&T interventions and are determined to continue them in other agricultural crops, such as rice, corn, vegetable, jatropha for oil and even watershed management.

He said the challenge now is coming up with the supply to meet the big demand of their high-valued commodities.

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